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Key congratulates new British PM

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/07/2016

Prime Minister John Key is optimistic he will be able to work with new British Prime Minister Theresa May to enhance the links between both countries.

Mrs May was appointed the UK's second female prime minister in a private audience with the Queen at which she was invited to form a government.

Mrs May's elevation to the country's most senior political role, at the age of 59, completes a whirlwind rise which was triggered by the unexpected referendum vote for "Brexit" on June 23 which brought down predecessor David Cameron.

She becomes the 13th holder of the post of prime minister and First Lord of the Treasury during Elizabeth II's reign.

Mr Key, in Rome after meeting with Italian PM Matteo Renzi, congratulated the long-serving home secretary on her elevation and said he hoped to speak to her in the coming days.

"The United Kingdom and New Zealand have a long standing and close relationship.

"The trade and economic links between our two countries are already strong and we have shared interests in a number of areas, including global defence and security.

"I met Theresa May in London last year and I am confident we will be able to work together to strengthen the links between our two countries," Mr Key said.

Mr Key also paid tribute to the outgoing Mr Cameron saying the pair had become very good friends and he had enjoyed working with him.

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